With Week 6 in the books, there are stories aplenty when it comes to target shares. We have superstars leading their teams, over-hyped players disappointing fantasy owners, and new leaders emerging for some of the league’s best QBs. While one week is just a fraction of the NFL season, sometimes one game can tell a bigger story. What stories did Week 6 tell us?
Davante Adams: 16 targets, 10 receptions
Pulling 36% of your team’s total targets is an impressive feat. Converting those targets to 10 catches for 132 yards and 2 TDs is just awesome. Adams led the league in targets for Week 6 and is averaging almost 12 targets per game on the season. As long as this WR corps continues to spend more time on the injury report than the field, Adams and Jimmy Graham (9 targets) are going to reap the rewards of being Aaron Rodgers‘ most trusted targets
Saquon Barkley: 12 targets, 9 receptions
For already the 2nd time this season, Barkley led all RBs in targets. He has looked explosive every time he touches the ball and is as good a pass catcher as he is a runner. Eli Manning threw the ball 43 times against the Eagles so there was plenty of work to go around but nobody did more than Barkley. He finished with 9 catches for 99 yards and some very, very happy fantasy owners.
David Njoku: 12 targets, 7 receptions
Another player aided by pure passing volume was David Njoku. The Browns got behind early and were forced to throw the ball 46 times against the Chargers. However, it was Njoku, not Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, or Duke Johnson, that led the team, and all NFL TEs, in targets. This is the 2nd straight game that he has paced the team in targets. Tight End is a fantasy dumpster fire this season so if Baker Mayfield can start to lean on Njoku more as the season progress, he could end up a top 5 TE before season’s end. He finished this game with 55 yards and one TD, by far his best game of the year and hopefully a sign of things to come.
Cameron Brate: 1 target, 1 reception
On the opposite end of the TE spectrum is Cameron Brate. The hype was definitely there for Brate coming into this game against Atlanta. The Falcons were vulnerable to tight ends and he is a favorite of Jameis Winston. He parlayed that hype into 1 catch for 15 yards. Yes, he scored a TD, but he was out-targeted and out-produced by fellow TE OJ Howard and can be safely ignored in most fantasy formats.
Kenny Stills: 1 target, 1 reception
Another in a string of disappointments for Kenny Stills owners. To set the table: expectations were low as the Bears DEF/ST is the best in the league but low and behold we got a shootout of sorts. In a 31 point offensive outburst, Kenny Stills managed to remain largely invisible despite playing more than 80% of offensive snaps. Stills had one target but did not catch it…his one catch came on a ball intended for another WR that bounced into Stills’ hands. If not for a lucky bounce and a 2 point conversion, Stills would have been left off the stat sheet completely. While teammates Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson ate the Bears breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Stills left owners starving.
Doug Baldwin: 8 targets, 6 receptions
While not exactly a gaudy stat line, it has a deeper meaning. After Baldwin did next to nothing against the Rams last week, there were worries about his place in the Seattle pecking order. In this beatdown of the Raiders, he showed that he still leads the pack. Baldwin had double the targets of any other Seattle WR and finished with 91 yards. Reaggravation of his injury is always a concern but Baldwin’s buy low window is slamming closed.
Josh Gordon: 9 targets, 5 receptions
Being the top target in a Tom Brady-led offense is just about as good as it gets for a fantasy WR. Josh Gordon has to be thanking his lucky stars for his post-Cleveland landing spot. His targets have increased for 3 straight weeks and against one of the NFL’s worst scoring defenses, he outpaced Gronk, Edelman, and James White in targets. Obviously, you’d like to see a higher catch rate and more than 42 yards but if he continues to lead this Patriots team in targets, the rest is sure to fall into place.
Dion Lewis: 2 targets, 2 receptions
Sometimes being the pass-catching RB of a bad offense works out well for fantasy purposes. This does not appear to be the case for 2018 Dion Lewis. The Titan’s offense is BAD, having only scored more than 20 points once this season and Lewis is doing nothing to improve them. Lewis has only seen 5+ targets twice this season, the same amount of games that he has seen 2 or fewer. This offense has zero consistency and only threw the ball 15 times in a blowout loss. Lewis is borderline unstartable in fantasy football until things open up in Tennessee.
Cole Beasley: 11 targets, 9 receptions
A surprise leader emerges in the WR wasteland that is Dallas. In 6 weeks, Beasley has led the Cowboys WR corps in targets 4 times. While this hasn’t exactly provided much value to fantasy owners, outside of Week 6, it is telling. In the beatdown of Jacksonville, Dallas achieves their biggest win of the season and that came on the shoulders of Beasley going for over 100 yards and 2 TDs. Common sense says: find something that works and try to repeat it. If that’s the case, Cole Beasley should be a waiver wire target that could explode in the 2nd half of the season.
Jermaine Kearse: 10 targets, 9 receptions
The Jets WRs can’t seem to stay healthy and sometimes the best ability is availability. Kearse can thank an early injury to Quincy Enunwa for his big Week 6 and it looks like Enunwa will miss at least 3 weeks with a high ankle sprain. To top things off, fellow WRs Robby Anderson and Terrelle Pryor both limped out of Week 6 as well and haven’t yet practiced for Week 7. Kearse may be the only option Sam Darnold has and that means Week 6’s 9 catches for 94 yards may have only been the tip of the iceberg.